Canada is a thriving and prosperous nation. One could argue that it has changed for the better, but it has never really struggled. Canada has not been invaded since the War of 1812. In other words, it has traditionally been a peaceful and stable nation.
Compared to the United States, its southern neighbor, Canada has done very well in recent years. Canada has less partisan deadlock in its national government. Its record on environmental protection is better than its southern neighbor's, too.
Canada, like the United States, came out of World War II (1939–1945) relatively unscathed. Its territory had not been invaded, and its economic power was heightened. Because Europe had been heavily damaged, Canada gradually assumed a greater role in international affairs.
By the 1960s, Canada had become an important power in its own right. The adoption of a new flag signified the country's move out of Great Britain's orbit. In 1982, the Canada Act made Canada a completely sovereign nation. Today, Canada acts independently from both London and Washington in diplomatic matters. Canada wisely chose not to participate in the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003. But it did send troops to fight in Afghanistan.
Although Canada suffered from the Great Recession in 2009, its economy has grown steadily—albeit slowly—for the past couple of decades.
Quebec's unique French heritage has sometimes posed problems for Canada. Founded in 1968, the Quebec Party was strident in its demands for greater autonomy for Quebec within Canada. Secession of Quebec from Canada was a possibility several decades ago. However, present-day Quebec seems content with its place within a united Canada.